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Sky Bet League 1

Deepdale (ATT 10,034) 1st March 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Preston Preston North End vs Walsall Walsall

Preston 2

P Downing (og 3)
B Wright (29)

ft

Walsall 1

S Mantom (5, S/O 82)

O'Donnell blunder proves costly

Last Updated: 01/03/14 6:08pm

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Richard O'Donnell: Fluffed his lines

Richard O'Donnell: Fluffed his lines

Goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell's huge blunder cost Walsall dear as Preston kept up their promotion push with a 2-1 win at Deepdale.

In only the third minute of the game Paul Downing's innocuous back pass was missed by O'Donnell and the backtracking 'keeper failed to prevent the ball from rolling agonisingly over the line.

Sam Mantom equalised moments later for the Saddlers from a rebound after his first effort was parried away by Declan Rudd.

But Bailey Wright re-established the hosts' lead just before the half-hour mark, heading home Paul Gallagher's inswinging free-kick.

After the interval Gallagher came close to doubling Preston's advantage when his curling effort was saved by O'Donnell and, in the ensuing melee, Craig Davies' header was cleared off the line.

Walsall's misery was compounded after 82 minutes as goalscorer Mantom's high challenge on Joe Garner gave the referee no choice but to issue a straight red card.

That meant Preston held on comfortably for a win which extends their unbeaten league home run to six games while play-off hopefuls Walsall are now winless in their last five.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 23 48
2 Swindon Town 23 47
3 Preston North End 23 45
4 Milton Keynes Dons 22 44
5 Bradford City 23 36
6 Sheffield United 22 33
7 Chesterfield 23 32
8 Rochdale 23 31
9 Notts County 22 31
10 Peterborough United 23 31
11 Fleetwood Town 23 30
12 Walsall 23 30
13 Oldham Athletic 22 30
14 Doncaster Rovers 22 30
15 Port Vale 23 29
16 Barnsley 22 26
17 Coventry City 23 26
18 Scunthorpe United 21 26
19 Gillingham 23 25
20 Crawley Town 23 23
21 Crewe Alexandra 23 23
22 Leyton Orient 22 22
23 Colchester United 23 21
24 Yeovil Town 22 20